In 2019 I decided to start picking a word of the year. I had seen the company I worked for for years do it and I thought it would be nice to have a North Star to keep me on track.
My word of the year last year was “uncharted.” My number one goal was to enter arenas I’d never entered before. I wanted deeply to feel a shift from my usual path into new lanes no matter how uncomfortable it made me. And I feel like in a lot of ways I did.
- I joined a Pilates studio and for the first time in my adult life had an exercise routine I stuck with.
- As someone who suffers from diastasis recti, I’ve spent the four years since I gave birth to my son feeling really crappy about the state of my stomach. It’s saggy and protrude-y and hangs over my c-section scar. And I was certain only surgery could fix it. But I did something I’ve never done before and sought out a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health and have worked towards healing myself.
- I turned in my book to an editor. This was a big one! I’ve started a lot of drafts on novels before. I’ve even finished one only to put it in a drawer. But this year I wrote a book revised it myself and then handed it over to a professional.
- I sought out a therapist. This was an uncharted zone that I didn’t know I would be entering at the start of the year but something about saying I’d go places I’d never been opened up spaces I hadn’t even imagined going. I loved the experience and months later still feel the impact of talking to someone.
So, all in all, I felt last year the word served as a touchpoint. It was a healthy reminder when I was met with a fork in the road. It also allowed me to check in with myself and go for something new instead of settling for what’s comfortable.
This year, the word I have chosen is ownership.
I’ve chosen it for both literal and metaphorical reasons.
In the most literal form, I intend to be the proud owner of a published debut novel this year.
When that happens I will officially be the owner of my own small business… no matter how many sales happen in 2020, I know my parents will at least buy a copy each (ha!).
I will be the owner of a title I’ve wanted for over a decade: author.
Ownership is going to be a real thing that I make happen this year.
But ownership is also a mindset I want to embody. And it’s stemming off of last year’s “uncharted” mindset. Last year was about walking through doors. This year is about settling into the spaces I entered.
I want to take more ownership of my physical health and strength by continuing my fitness journey and incorporating better food choices and removing unhealthy indulgences more and more.
I want to take even more ownership of my mental well-being which is always the hardest thing for me to maintain. Though I don’t know that depression and anxiety is something I can own 24/7/365, I do know I have the ability to choose my state of mind more often than I do.
I want to take ownership of my time. How often I am wasting it. How frequently I’m missing it because of poor planning. How much of it I need for sleep, rest and play.
I want more ownership of my financial landscape. I think most people in their 20s wing it, but as a woman who is now into her 30s, I’m ready to feel more in control and intentional.
If I were to sum up what I think my word of the year means it would be this:
I am responsible for whatever happens this year. Good or bad. Day by day. Areas that have felt beyond my reach I’m putting in my lap and saying handle it. If you don’t have the tools. Get them. If you don’t have the habits, create them. If you want something do what you have to do or decide you don’t actually want it.
Take ownership of who you are at the end of this year and at the end of this decade.